GaLTT’s volunteer board is very “hands on”, as the society has no paid staff. Several committees do GaLTT’s routine work between board meetings and all board members belong to at least one such committee, according to their personal skills and interests. In general, the chairperson of each committee is empowered to act and communicate on behalf of the Society based on pre-approved projects and within the existing policy framework of GaLTT. Some committee work is performed by GaLTT members who are not on the board.

If you are interested in joining us in our work, please visit our Volunteer page.

Executive Committee

This committee is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Society and comprises GaLTT’s President, Vice President, immediate Past President, Treasurer, and Secretary. It is responsible for liaison with all levels of Government including local Islands Trust committee, Regional District of Nanaimo, Provincial Government departments and agencies, Federal Government departments and agencies, and Snuneymuxw First Nation. It has responsibilities related to strategic planning, board recruitment and training, planning for succession, meeting agendas, BC Society Annual Report, and contracts.

Its current Chairperson is GaLTT’s President, Rob Brockley. Members: Vice President, Hugh Skinner; Past President, Anne Landry; Treasurer, Frank Shoemaker; Secretary, Jenni Gehlbach; Communications co-chair, Nola Johnston. EMAIL: info@galtt.ca

Finance Committee

This committee manages the routine financial affairs of GaLTT, including donations, invoicing, bill payment and financial statements. It manages GaLTT memberships in other organizations, traditional and digital banking procedures, investment matters including Foundations, reviews of accounting categories and project/committee accounting, and annual accounting and reporting at the AGM and to BC Societies Registration and Revenue Canada. The Committee also interfaces with Canada Helps, to manage on-line donations.

Finance Committee is chaired by GaLTT’s Treasurer Frank Shoemaker, and includes Rob Brockley, Rebecca Furnell (Membership), Hugh Skinner and Tom Wojcik. EMAIL: treasurer@galtt.ca

Conservation Committee

This committee deals with all matters related to conservation, including: conservation covenants; land acquisition; working on conservation issues as they pertain to various governments and agencies such the Islands Trust, Islands Trust Conservancy (ITC), BC Parks, and the RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo); and liaising with other land trusts.

GaLTT’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 re-emphasizes the conservation part of GaLTT’s mandate. The Committee

  • manages the creation, monitoring, and defence of conservation covenants, a valuable tool landowners can use to protect their land in perpetuity
  • oversees Elder Cedar Nature Reserve management contracts with ITC
  • works to educate landholders about stewardship in collaboration with the Community Engagement, Invasives and Communications committees.

Its Chairperson is Anne Landry and committee members are board members Rob Brockley, Nola Johnston, and Frank Shoemaker, with GaLTT members Tom Cameron, Suzanne Campbell, Carly McMahon, Brad Nixon, and Hugh Skinner. EMAIL: conservation@galtt.ca

Trails Committee

This committee deals with all issues connected with our public trail system, and is also literally where the heavy lifting occurs. Based on monitoring and requests, the committee

  • plans and executes regular work bees to build and maintain trails on public land, through road right-of-ways (with MOTI approval), and on other legal, approved routes, including trails legally licensed for public use across private land
  • builds and installs boardwalks over wetland areas on the trails to prevent ecological degradation.
  • supports the RDN and Provincial parks departments with park management plan implementation.

Its Chairperson is Barry Moerkerken who manages at least twice-monthly work parties of volunteers to build and maintain Gabriola’s trails, construct boardwalks, and sometimes help the Invasives Committee with removal of invasive plants. Volunteer Don Machell manages regular trail trimming as needed by 4-person crews. Don with volunteers Peter Danenhower and Jamie Doig assess what work is needed on existing or developing trails. Barry and Lars Hulstein manage trail licences. Several other GaLTT member volunteers are regularly active in this committee’s work. EMAIL: trails@galtt.ca

Nature Stewards Committee

Our Nature Stewards program is coordinated by Ken Gurr, under contract, working with a committee consisting of Rob Brockley, Susan Brockley, Tom Cameron, Libby Gun, Nola Johnston, Ro Konrad, Anne Landry, and Lou Skinner. EMAIL: naturestewards@galtt.ca

Invasive Species Committee

This committee works with a large, dedicated team of volunteers to manage invasive plants across the island. It organizes

  • large group events such as the annual broombash, in which they work with the Lions Club with the support of BC Parks to clear Drumbeg Park of broom while it is blooming.
  • year-round, large and small work bees attacking the many listed invasive plants in public areas, as well as encouraging individuals to work on their own land and neighbourhoods.
  • a team of research volunteers who are investigating the best ways to manage broom, with individual research plots.

The committee works closely with the Community Engagement team and also with Communications Committee to produce educational materials and newspaper articles about Gabriola’s worst invasive plants and how to manage them.

Its Chairperson is Alison Thomas, working closely with Suzanne Christopher, Linda Hellenius, Lou Skinner, Jewel Walker, and Susan Yates. Hugh Skinner is the board liaison. The committee has a large team of active volunteers. EMAIL: invasives@galtt.ca.

Community Engagement Committee

This committee interacts directly with Gabriola’s community, providing information and activities relevant to our mandate and strategic plans. The committee does this by

  • maintaining a public presence with tables at the Gabriola Farmers’ Market and other community events
  • organizing trail walks and other activities
  • distributing GaLTT’s printed trail map
  • coordinating with the elementary school on intergenerational land-based education initiatives
  • working with other Gabriola organizations in pursuit of common goals.

Community Engagement works closely with the Invasive Species, Conservation, and Communications committees.

The Community Engagement Committee is chaired by member Lou Skinner. Committee members are: Sally Bullas, Suzanne Christopher, Paula Gray, Leanne Hewlin, Sarah Kopjar, Allan Posthuma, Lou Skinner, and Alison Thomas. Board Liaison is Hugh Skinner. EMAIL: programs@galtt.ca

Membership Committee

Membership committee maintains our membership lists, ensuring they are up to date, directly messaging members whose memberships need renewal.

The committee is chaired by Rebecca Furnell who manages the digital membership applications and coordinates with Treasurer Frank Shoemaker to keep track of membership fees and donations, and issue tax receipts. They coordinate with Communications Committee through Jenni Gehlbach, who maintains email contact with our members and volunteers about our activities and initiatives. EMAIL: membership@galtt.ca

Communications Committee

This behind-the-scenes committee develops and manages print and electronic communication with GaLTT’s membership and volunteers, and with the general public, and provides writing and editing services for other GaLTT committees. It works through:

  • digital communication with members and volunteers by email and through our website and Facebook page
  • printed publication of trail maps, brochures, self-guided walk pamphlets, other educational materials, and our annual newsletter
  • public communication and advertising through the local newspaper, Gabriola’s community email distribution lists (such as Gabevents), GaLTT’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and Facebook community bulletin boards.

The committee also manages print and digital data storage of documents and island-related mapping data, including archival material. It maintains printed and digital minutes of all board meetings and of Annual and Special General meetings of the membership. It works closely with the Community Engagement Committee, Invasives Committee, and Trail Operations Committee to publicize events and activities and to disseminate related information.

Communication Committee is co-chaired by Jenni Gehlbach and Nola Johnston, who co-manage the website. Sarah Kopjar serves as Recording Secretary for board meetings, and Jenni manages emails to members and volunteers with the support of Membership coordinator Rebecca Furnell. Paula Brent set up our new Facebook page in 2021 and coordinates and produces content for it.

Nola manages graphic design and layout for all print materials, advertisements, and signage; digital storage of documents, ecological mapping; and Instagram. She also provides visual communications and data management support for other GaLTT committees. She has also taken on the management, updating, and reprints of our printed Trails on Gabriola map, originally designed and illustrated by GaLTT member Cameron Murray (Topographics Landscape Architecture) EMAIL: photos@galtt.ca

Share the Trails Committee

Committee members are keen proponents of “Share the Trails”, working to ensure that walkers, cyclists, and horse-riders can share Gabriola’s trails safely and enjoyably. They liaise and collaborate with various Gabriola trail user groups, the Gabriola Active Transportation Group, and the Outdoor Recreational Council. They perform trail user education, including conflict avoidance, and manage trail signage other than wayfaring signage.

Share the Trails Committee is chaired by Tom Wojcik. Board members Nola Johnston, and Barry Moerkerken serve on the committee together with GaLTT member Ro Konrad. EMAIL: info@galtt.ca

Accessibility Committee

This committee was formed in 2018 in response to public expressions about the lack of any beaches accessible to those with mobility restrictions. Having conducting a survey to assess that need as well as the accessibility of our trail system, the committee now works with the RDN and BC parks departments to make improvements.

The Accessibility Committee is chaired by Sarah Kopjar. The committee consists of board members Jenni Gehlbach, Barry Moerkerken, Hugh Skinner, and Lou Skinner, with GaLTT members Tom Cameron and Peter Danenhower. EMAIL: access@galtt.ca

Associated committees under the GaLTT umbrella

Gabriola Streamkeepers

Streamkeepers engage the community in monitoring and protecting our fresh water bodies. For several years they operated as a semi-independent committee under GaLTT’s umbrella, sharing GaLTT resources such as hall rental and insurance for volunteers. In 2019 the group became inactive, but a few members continue to monitor the health and status of Coats Marsh and Mallet Creek.

FIDO—(fenced-in, dogs off-leash)

Currently inactive, FIDO worked to achieve a fenced-in off-leash dog park on Gabriola. This independently established group was included as a temporary ad hoc committee under GaLTT’s umbrella for the purposes of accounting, administration, and insurance. It was negotiating with the RDN to establish an approved location for the park with services such as fencing, shelter, water stations, and waste disposal.